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Bombers Break Slump in Father’s Day Home Run Derby

VICTORIA, Texas (June 20, 2021) — A Father’s Day celebration saw the Brazos Valley Bombers defeat the Victoria Generals, 5-2, to kick off the navy and gold’s four-game road trip.

Led by a dominant second inning to take the lead, the Bombers outperformed the Generals in every tracked statistic Sunday night. The team dedicated its win to head coach James Dillard, who gave up his Father’s Day evening with his son to be with the team.

Fresh off of the team’s fourth shutout loss of the season, the Bombers stepped into Riverside Stadium in Victoria with a vengeance. This culminated in a four-run second inning in which shortstop Bobby Lada and catcher Ryan Snell each sent home runs over the left field wall. Center fielder Grayson Tatrow and third baseman Troy Viola found their ways home as well, giving the Bombers a four-run lead.

Viola said it was a much-needed mindset booster to break the night’s scoring barrier after struggling with injuries for months.

“It’s huge,” Viola said. “I haven’t played in over a year, so getting back into baseball was a slow start. The coaches have been trusting me, and a couple adjustments made a huge difference in the team’s success.”

Victoria chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the second with the help of an error and a triple to the center field wall. With the gap narrowed, a whole new atmosphere took over the ballpark.

Lada used this as motivation to add the game’s final dagger in the top of the eight. After drawing a walk from a 0-2 count, the shortstop used his incredible baseball intelligence to snag third and eventually come home on errors, setting the ending score at 5-2.

For the first time since facing the Acadiana Cane Cutters last week, the Bombers outperformed their opponent on offense, notching 40 percent more hits than the Generals. Dillard said this feat had been a long time coming for his players.

“Our hitters did their job,” Dillard said. “We hit the ball with runners in scoring position, hard, and barreled things up early. That’s what we’ve been trying to do all season.”

The navy and gold bullpen demonstrated arguably its best showing of the entire summer, giving up a total of zero earned runs and combining for a cumulative 1.40 ERA. Opener Carson Atwood, relief pitcher Jack Brinley and closer Johnny Cheatwood came together with 11 strikeouts, led by a five-strikeout, three-inning no-hitter showing by Brinley. The Temple College pitcher said it felt good to pitch at what he felt was the best of his ability.

“That's 100 percent the standard I hold myself to,” Brinley said. “I always strive for the best I can. I just tell myself that my pitches are better than the batter’s swings. That sounds arrogant, but that’s the mindset you need as a pitcher.”

After Sunday’s one-off, Brazos Valley climbs to an 8-10 record while Victoria falls to 8-8 on the season. Though home field advantage is normally a game changer in this sport, the Bombers now hold an 11-10 edge when facing the Generals in Victoria since 2017.

The Bombers next step up to bat on Tuesday, June 22 when they travel to San Antonio for a three-game series against the recently-battled Flying Chanclas. Brazos Valley will then return to Edible Field on Friday, June 25 with a fireworks-themed welcome home celebration marking the end of the long road trip.

Viola said the team is in the perfect position to “keep the momentum going” as the Bombers continue fighting for a spot in the Texas Collegiate League playoffs.

“We’re starting to come around on the offensive side of the game,” Viola said. “If we can just keep the bats hot, and our pitchers keep doing an amazing job, then we’re going to win a lot of games.”

For tickets and updates on the Bombers 2021 season, fans are encouraged to call (979) 779-PLAY or visit www.bvbombers.com. To follow all upcoming news and developments for the Brazos Valley Bombers, follow the team on facebook.com/bvbombers, Twitter: @BV_Bombers and Instagram: @bvbombers.



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